Puyallup Fair and Playhouses

Going to the Puyallup Fair is a tradition for me and my aunt, Sheryl. So I was excited when she mentioned that the Spring Fair would be open while we were in Washington. We made the trek to Puyallup despite the drizzly weather and let Lena loose to check out all the animals. We saw camels, jumping dogs, and an overabundance of pygmy goats, to name a few.

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David and Andrew were good sports and let me snap some photos of them in between checking out the sights. We rented a scooter for Sheryl and made the mistake of showing Lena how to beep the horn. It then became a game to see how long she could hold it down before we pulled her hand off of it. It’s possible that the scooter horn really IS the most annoying sound in the world.

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You can’t go to the fair without eating some fair food and even though it was the Spring Fair, all the old standbys were still there. Hot dogs, hamburgers, elephant ears, scones. My inner fat kid was in heaven. We told Andrew that the elephant ear came from an actual elephant which was probably mean but is also a rite of passage in our family. Luckily, he’s pretty smart and didn’t believe us for long. While it looks like Lena is sampling some of the cinnamon goodness here, I don’t actually let her eat junk food so this picture lies. However, it was too cute not to include it here.

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I also had a scone. And I put some serious effort into getting a shot that would do justice to the deliciousness that is a Puyallup Fair scone. There are no words. You just have to eat one. And you have to eat it at the fair. There’s something about the smell of carnies, wasted money and dirty rides that enhances the flavor of these morsels and it is not to be missed. I’m drooling just looking at this picture again. Yum.

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After the fair, my mom and Lena had a little play date in the “hytte.” My parents built a cabin outside their back door and have decked it out in full-blown Norwegian style. We’re talking floor to ceiling pine, rosemaling, carving, weavings and trolls everywhere.

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Most of the furniture and decor is handmade by family members. A lot of the weavings were made by my mom while my dad is incredible at distressing furniture to look antique. The large clock was carved by my grandpa and according to my mom, will be passed on to me “when she dies but not until then because [she] likes it too much.” So there’s that.

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The hytte was built before Lena was born and I didn’t quite understand it’s use until my mom mentioned that it would be Lena’s special playhouse when she comes to visit. When I thought of it that way, I realized what a cool space it will be as Lena gets older.

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My mom had all sorts of design details and meaningful touches all around the cabin and I could tell she loved sharing them with her granddaughter. The pewter pieces were collected over many trips to Norway from both my mom’s childhood as well as mine.

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The rock in Lena’s hand is somewhat of a family legend. The surface is covered with moss (I think?) and is completely smooth after many, many years. You can’t see it in this picture, but the moss created the shape of a certain male body part. Since we’re all quite mature, we’ve named the rock after it’s signature image and the name has stood the test of time.

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I know people say you gain a new perspective when you have kids but I never anticipated it to be this way. It’s really special for me to watch Lena experience things from my childhood with my family members. Perhaps it’s even sweeter because we live so far away and these interactions are few and far between. Even something as simple as eating scones or playing with a rock turn me into a giant sentimental blob! What a gift to have such rich (and sometimes strange) traditions to pass down to the next generation.

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